Tuna Tar-Tart

I suck at everything. Probably more than you do. I enjoy experimenting with cheese and playing with glue sticks. You might know me from that other joint, LiveJournal.

Mar 232018

Hey guys! We landed safely yesterday (Friday the 23rd) around 4:30pm. It was 7:30 by the time we got to our hotel in Jongno (we took the airport bus and Henry made friends with an ahjussi who helped make sure we got off at the right stop, bless his heart, we probably had giant HELP US WE’RE DUMB expressions plastered all over our faces because let’s face it, we can barely manage to find places in our own country!

After we changed clothes, we went for a walk around the area. It was nearly 9 by then and the sidewalks and alleys were full of drunk people and it was so seedy and awesome, hahaha. I was in a jet lag-induced haze and just couldn’t believe we were actually there. It was like walking through a k-drama and I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or not. I can’t believe I’m here!

There was a guy selling 붕어빵 (fish-shaped fried dough filled with sweet red beans) outside of our hotel so that was our first official street food purchase, after I stopped Henry from buying nine of them because he couldn’t read the sign – he wanted three but they came in sets of three so the guy was trying to make him take nine until I stepped in and Henry was so mad because we’re finally in a place where I have an actual life skill so I guess I will be doing all the ordering while we’re here.

Then we walked to Cheonggyecheon Stream for a short stroll where Chooch almost ruined a young couple’s romantic moment by trying to walk across the stream at the same as them, because that’s what Chooch does – inserts himself into other peoples moments!

Once we had enough of the stream, we came back up to street level and realized we were in Dongdaemun! (I have looked at a map of Seoul a million times but that has done little to prepare me for actually being here since I was born without an internal compass). It was really cool to turn a corner from all the modernity and run smack into Heunginjimun Gate. We’ll definitely be going back during the day at some point too but I’m glad we got to see it at night.

On the way back to the hotel, we walked behind four young people and I desperately wished I was part of their group.

I'll try to update again tomorrow! 안녕하세요!
Mar 222018

We’re leaving for Korea in less than an hour and I am so scared/excited/grateful. It feels like a dream!

I’m going back to my paper journal roots for this trip and have already logged about 15 pages of Henry antics, but I also love writing on here a lot so I plan on doing quick posts here and there while we’re away, and you better believe there will be like a month of recaps after we get back so…unsubscribe now if you’re already annoyed, I guess!

Mar 212018

This is likely going to be a super frenetic word slop because I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Korea and it’s really hard to focus on anything else. But I’ve been compiling some more downtown coffee joints to fake-review and I wanted to get this out there before I leave or else it will never happen and let me tell you, I struggled with some of these coffee shops! I DO NOT WANT MY PAIN TO BE IN VAIN.

I like to give myself missions when I’m on my daily walks. Sometimes I just need a purpose, whether it’s looking for my favorite homeless person, gagging at the river, exploring shady alleys. Sometimes it’ll be something like, “Take pictures of churches.” Anything to motivate me to get out of the office and walk, even on less luxurious-weathered days. Just a little pro-tip from me to you! Especially all you step-counters out there who need some motivation.

While it’s really tempting to just walk a block down the street and grab a latte at Crazy Mocha, I have been trying to see how many coffee joints are within a walkable distance for me, something close enough where I can get there, grab a quick coffee, and still make it back to work within an hour. So here are some recent options for anyone who works downtown Pittsburgh and maybe feels like ditching Starbucks for a day, god forbid.

  1. Fort Pitt Coffee

I’ve been here once before, after seeing people in the area walking around last summer with non-‘bucks coffee cups in their hands and I immediately opened up dreaded Yelp to see where the fuck they were coming from because lord knows I’m not going to JUST ASK SOMEONE. That’s what Chooch is for.

*[Side-note: the other night, I wanted to walk to the Payless that’s in the next town over from us. Henry and I had walked there the day before but one whole part of the front window had plywood over it and there was a sign taped to the door that said they were closed. I guess someone drove through the front of the store? I didn’t want to walk all the way there just to see they were still closed a day later, so I ACTUALLY LOOKED UP THE NUMBER AND CALLED. It’s a miracle, me using my phone to call someone other than Henry. I didn’t recognize the sound coming from the other end of the phone at first, and then I gradually realized that holy shit, it was a busy signal! It stayed busy for 30 minutes so I went upstairs and said to Chooch, “Hey Chooch, call Little Caesars (which is right next to Payless) and ask them, ‘Hey bro, how ’bout popping outside for a sec and letting me know if Payless is open?'” but Chooch said something like, “GOD NO I’M NOT DOING THAT!” So I took a chance and just walked there and lo and behold, it was open and I got a pair of shoes and one pair for free, too! I should have just went to Payless from the get-go instead of going through my Goldilocks shoe drama.]

(Oh, all of this was to say that sometimes Chooch says no when I ask him to ask someone about something.)

Anyway, I just got a plain ol’ latte and it was fine. The girl working wasn’t very memorable and then the owner came out to ring me up and he was pretty neutral as far as friendliness goes, which was funny to me because I follow this coffee place on Instagram and he acts like his coffee is God’s gift but he did nothing that day to assure that I’d be back again.

I mean, I probably will at some point, but if I was still doing Greetings From Erin’s Lunch Break, this would not make it into a postcard.

Although now that I see that iced raspberry chai on the menu….

2. Allegheny Coffee

This place is wonderful! I always thought it was too far out of reach for my hour-walks but I chanced it one day and still made it back to work with plenty of time to spare (I’m literally the only clock-watcher in that department. I’m sure I could go over my lunch break and no one would notice. BUT I WOULD NOTICE.). I’ve been there twice recently and the same girl was working both times – she was so friendly and made the whole experience more relaxed because if you’re like me, you get stressed to the max when trying to decide which particular coffee beverage you want at that particular moment.

Both times, I got seasonal specials: a King Cake Chai Latte, which had honey in it and it was DIVINE. I love chai lattes, it’s my go-to whenever I don’t feel like coffee. The second time, I was going to get that again because it was so wonderful, but then I saw a white chocolate strawberry latte and even though I rarely go for white chocolate or even mochas, the prospect of a strawberry latte was appealing to me because I don’t see them very often at my usual haunts. Oh, you guys, it was magic. It was like there was actual strawberry puree in there – it didn’t have that weird synthetic fruit taste that strawberry-flavored things sometimes carry. I had this Strawberry Shortcake doll when I was a kid, and if you squeezed her, she let out a puff of air that stunk of a laboratory strawberry, like a perfume for robots. Sometimes, strawberry-favored things taste like I’m eating that puff of fauxberry air.

The second time I went, the same girl was working and as I struggled to get my credit card out of my not-wallet, she was like, “OMG your wallet is so cute!” which was the perfect opportunity for me to tell her about how I had thought I lost it several days prior and how awkward it was to describe it to the receptionist at my work.

“I can’t believe you’re still telling people that story,” Henry sighed when I called him right after I left.

“She liked my story! She even laughed!” I yelled defensively. God, step off.

This place is definitely added to my list of “will return” coffee shops, which right now really only has Crazy Mocha on it because that place has such local flavor and rarely lets me down, no matter which location I go to, even though the coffee itself isn’t anything spectacular.

Oh, and there was a dog there one of the days I visited!

3. Colony Cafe

I have definitely mentioned this joint on here several times (and it’s one of the places I took Scott and Maya when they were visiting from Tennessee last October!) but it’s worth mentioning again because they saved my ass.


It was one of the days I was working late shift, so I was out on my walk after 4pm. There was a new-ish place I wanted to try in the Strip call De Fer, and I even made sure to check their hours before heading in that direction. Their website said they’re open until 6 so I happily  (yeah right, I’m sure I was on the phone with Henry and scowling about something) set off to Smallman Street and got super excited when I found it because I suck at finding things. AND THEN I SAW THE SIGN ON THE DOOR.

It said they closed at 3 that day, SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

Too many of these signs have been inconveniencing me lately!

I knew if I walked up the street, Prima was there.

THEY TOO WERE CLOSED. I did the whole “tug on the door and involuntarily jerk back” movement because I wasn’t expecting it to be locked since the lights were on and someone was inside!


Allegheny Coffee was also a stone’s throw away, so I headed over there.

The door was locked.


Now I was beginning to feel a bit crazed. PEOPLE STILL NEED COFFEE AFTER 4PM!

PrestoGeorge was a block away and I saw a gathering old men inside so I breathed a sigh of relief, but my confident door handle-tugging was met with resistance BECAUSE IT WAS LOCKED TOO.

This was clearly some kind of sick joke.

I needed coffee so badly at this point that I was in tears. Do I have a problem? YES BUT IT’S MINE NOT YOURS SO BACK OFF.

I mean, thanks for your concern.

But thank god, the last cafe on my way back out of the Strip was the Colony Cafe and I knew they would be open. God bless you, Colony. I don’t even mind too much that your small latte cost me more than a medium at Crazy Mocha, because I want to believe that some of that money is going to the cats.

Oh, did I forget to tell you that Colony is also a cat cafe? I’ve been there about 10 times but have never had the chance to play with cats because they’re in a separate loft area and you have to make a reservation. :(

Anyway, I also don’t mind paying more for coffee at this place because it’s damn good coffee and I have never had a sour experience with any of the baristas. All good eggs up in there!

4. De Fer

Which brings me back to De Fer. I was excited to try this place because their website was really spirited, full of mission statements and employee introductions. I like that. I walked in and immediately blanched at the strong yuppie vibes, but I shook it off because I’m trying to not let social groups deter me from enjoying a good coffee, you know?

And on this particular day, I definitely wanted coffee. Maybe a pour over? I wasn’t sure yet, but figured I’d just peruse the menu and see what struck me.


The “how dare you interrupt me from whatever busy-work I was doing behind the counter” glare that I got from the older gentleman barista. Wow, sorry to interrupt your Father John Misty fan letter-writing hour. Honestly, he couldn’t have sighed any louder while he loomed over me and rudely stared at me while I was trying to look at the menu. Sorry for being a first-time at your uppity cafe, motherfucker, but not ALL places have the same offerings! I wanted to ask him what they specialize in, or if there was something he recommended because I was feeling spontaneous, but he did not give off even a WHIFF of it being OK to speak to him further than placing an order.

So, I went with a fucking latte. I think it was actually lavender which is no big deal anymore because more often than not, a cafe has the syrup for that. But when I started to ask if they had soy, he cut me off and said, with 0 personality, “We don’t have soy. We have oat or almond.”

OAT. OAT? Are you fucking kidding me? I hate this place so hard. Go fuck yourself in a wash basin of oat milk, you pretentious milk-elitist.

The latte was expensive and only OK. I will probably not be back unless someone can guarantee that one of the avuncular-looking folk featured on the website will be there to take my order and/or hold my hand while I try something new.

Fucking oat milk.

(I ordered my latte with the oat milk.)

(I hate myself.)

5. Leaf & Bean

OK! My last cafe for this edition of Erin Drinks Too Much Coffee is Leaf & Bean, also in the Strip. It’s quite a ways away from my work, but it was worth nearly getting hit by a car in an alley as I flail-ran to get there in enough time.

The guy working also had zero personality/interest in smiling, however, I didn’t really expect much from him from the moment I walked in. He was like, if Henry was forced to be a barista. That’s the best way I can describe it. But, unlike the oat milk dick, this guy didn’t make me feel super small or like I wasn’t fancy enough to be there.

Besides, the aesthetics of this place totally negated the lack of rapport from the barista. The shop doubles as a cigar bar and it was like walking into some dark Havana boys’ club.

Reasonable prices, pretty standard offerings, but the ambiance is what made this place great. I’d like to go back sometime when I’m not on my lunch break and just hang out for a bit, not smoking a cigar.

Well, guys, that’s my latest cafe review for you. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. This ain’t Yelp.

Mar 192018

Here’s a story about shoes because I am just that boring these days. Last weekend I was at the mall because I wanted new shoes for vacation. First I went to Journeys because I wanted Adidas, but for some reason I ended up gravitating to this one pair of Vans. The kid who brought out my size would not stop hovering and it was so awkward because each shoe was 100% unlaced so I had to struggle with that while under a spotlight and it was just too much for meek ol’ Erin. Like, can a girl lace up her shoes in private, please?  I barely tried them on. I got one on my left foot, wiggled my toes around, declared it A Fit, and then checked out. As the kid was sliding the box into the bag, the Journeys guy at the register next to him looked over and said, “Ooh, Vans platforms! Nice!”

I laughed nervously and as we walked out of the store, I whispered to Henry, “What did he mean by that?” and Henry was just like, “I only pay attention when people are talking about plain New Balances, so I don’t know.”

I quickly looked up the shoes on my phone and they were definitely platforms, like an entire inch and a half. I hate platforms! I’m 5’4″ and like being on the shorter side! So now these shoes just looked like fucking pee Wee Herman shoes to me. “Well, I can’t wear these. We have to take them back.”

Henry wanted to do it right then but I was like, “THAT IS EMBARRASSING. You can return them tomorrow.” Lol.

So he did, he went to a different mall the next day and returned them for me. Then I went to a third mall on a mission to just buy the fucking Adidas I had my eyes on in the first place, and even though Henry tried to veer me in the right direction, I was like, “No. I want to try this place first.”

And that is how I ended up in a store called Jimmy Jazz, purchasing a pair of soft pink Pumas from the juniors section. I loved them for half a day until I wore them to work the next day and realized after the fourth time I tripped on the walk to the trolley that they were just too big. How did I not realize this at the store!? The fact that they’re a 6.5 and my other kids’ shoes are a 5 should have probably been a good indication, but I hate shopping and just want to get the hell out of the mall and all I cared about was that they felt cozy.

Of course they felt cozy! They’re nearly two sizes too big! My fucking feet could have a banquet in there! They were flopping around like it was the 1990s and slam-dancing was still a thing!

I don’t know what that means!

Let’s just say that the shoes were too big and I looked like an idiot shuffling around downtown in clown shoes.

Even aside from wearing them, Henry had already thrown away the receipt so I couldn’t exchange them for a smaller size. So I gifted them to Chooch who doesn’t want them because OMG they’re pink and hello they’re not even really PINK, thank you, but more of a CORAL!! in the key of Rick Grimes.

Maybe even you could say salmon.

He won’t wear them to school but he did wear them out around the neighborhood yesterday (and almost immediately stepped in a pile of HUGE dog shit logs). I MEAN IF THE SHOE FITS, AMIRITE?

Anway, here are some pictures of him in the shoes because if I can’t get my $45 back, at least let me use them as a goddamn prop.

I also forgot to mention that I bought a really cute pair of Iron Fist shoes to wear on Valentines Day and they too were too big and have sitting in a box in the backseat of the car for over a month because Henry and I keep putting off sending them back.

I don’t know you guys, I think they’re cool as hell and Chooch can honestly pull it off, pink or not. We did have to turn around and run into an alley at one point though because he saw jerks from his school and didn’t want to be seen, but I’m not sure if it was the shoes or his MOM he was more ashamed of.

Well, that’s my story about how somehow after 38 years I have turned into the goddamned Goldilocks of shoes. I’m 0 for 3. Bye now.

Mar 172018

I know this will be surprising, but St. Patrick’s Day is pretty much the only holiday that I don’t get even a little excited about. The only reason I even knew it was St. Patrick’s Day is because I live in Pittsburgh and they love that shit here. So all week during my lunch break walks, I had it rubbed in my face by street vendors shilling shamrock Steelers shirts, stores dressing up their windows with leprechauns and pots o’ gold, and cafes inseminating their lattes with hearty squirts of mint and naming it something lucky. I think that they should offer sweet potato lattes like they have in Korea, a nice little hat-tip to the potato famine. IT DOESN’T ONLY HAVE TO BE ABOUT MINT, PEOPLE.

Except for Kelly’s Bar — that shamrock sign has been there since the beginning of time…clearly.

Even stinky Wholey’s got into the spirit by dressing up their stuffed bear mascot, which by the way, I always catch in my periphery and think that it’s a real person and start to say hello. Something similar happened the other day, farther down the street, when I thought some bitch was staring at me. I was on the phone with Henry and as I walked closer to her, I was hissing to Henry about how I was going to punch this broad who couldn’t take her eyes off me for some reason, and then once she was about three feet away I realized it was a mannequin.

I have really got to do something about my eyes, you guys.

We had a shamrock-y pot luck at work yesterday but I was working from home so Henry got a reprieve from having to make something for me to take in. I was kind of glad to not have to be there because I am so low-key pouty on St. Patrick’s Day for some reason, and I don’t really think it’s all just because of the Fork Foul of 1992. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my childhood enduring Erin Go BRAAAAAAA jokes or perhaps it’s because I just generally dislike the idea of yet another excuse for drunk people to run rampant and piss everywhere. Whatever the reason, I just don’t really care much for this day but I’m trying to not be too bitter about it.

I do really like Shamrock Shakes though, so thank you, McDonald’s for making this holiday slightly more bearable for me!

Oh, and don’t let my name fool you — I’m 0% Irish.

Mar 162018

I officially have less than a week to get through before vacation and it’s been dra-hahahahaha-gging. I’ve been doing very little lately in order to conserve energy and money for our trip, but here is a round-up of pictures and mediocre points of interest.

  • Drew and Penelope’s condo has a big addition now and HENRY ACTUALLY HELPED! Here’s what happened: Chooch brought up this large box from the basement and I suggested that he connect it to the main part of their estate with a large circle opening (not shown, this is just a small window that Drew’s peeking out of). Well, this turned into A Thing because Chooch was all, “MY PROTRACTOR ISN’T THAT BIG” and we were like “WHAT TO DO WHAT TO DO” so Henry sighed his “goddammit” sigh, disappeared into the basement and re-emerged with an actual power saw-thing!! Henry put on his construction-pants and helped make the Cat Estate Great Again, we couldn’t believe our eyes! Anyway, after he made a same-sized opening in both boxes (which, had I done it, they would have been way different circumferences and probably not even near each other), and then decided that he was sick of Chooch using all of his duct tape so he went to Lowe’s and got these plastic things to hold the boxes together! So now only part of their house looks like a hobo built it!

  • Remember how my neighbor got arrested last week? WELL GUESS WHAT. I was on my lunch break walk on Wednesday, getting ready to cross the street by the Westin, when WHO WALKED PAST ME BUT TED!!!! I was on the phone with Henry and started saying, “OMGOMGOMG” in a very huminahumina-type of way. We made eye contact and then he kept walking so I was like, “DOES HE HONESTLY RECOGNIZE ME AFTER ALL OF THOSE FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR-WAVES WE SHARED?!” but I think he was purposely avoiding me. He was walking into town with papers in his hand, so Henry said maybe he was going to meet his lawyer? He apparently posted bail and has a hearing next week, but he hasn’t been back home as far as we know since everything happened last week. His car hasn’t moved, however!! The broad was back yesterday. Henry said she was very quiet over there, although Chooch said he heard her going up and down the steps. She came and left twice so our assumption is that she was getting her stuff? She better leave and never come back, that snitch!

  • I had dinner with Barb at Amel’s the other night and it was awesome as usual! I miss seeing her and talking to her everyday — I can’t believe it’s been three years since she left the law firm! Anyway, my favorite part of the night was when she was showing me her Pinterest full of potential hairstyles and we spent a good minute looking at this one she had pinned which was so wild! It was a really cool fauxhawk in an unnatural silver/platinum color. “Yeah, I really like it a lot too,” Barb said, half-convinced that this was going to be her Hairstyle of Tomorrow, before slowly realizing that she wasn’t showing me the right pins. She eventually found the right ones, which were all great too, but now I’m sad that Barb isn’t getting a metallic silver lady fauxhawk. :(
    • Runner-up moment: when we fell down the Salem rabbit hole and talked about Days of Our Lives for 20 minutes.

  • For at least a year, Chooch has been hounding Henry for a neck pillow because he’s a geriatric pre-teen. (“I can’t walk any farther because my hip hurts,” is an actually complaint he gives from time to time.) We went to Target last weekend and he FINALLY got his damn neck pillow which came with a bonus sleep mask. Also, it’s from Love, Taza which made me laugh because she’s such an obnoxious blogger with like 79 separate forums on GOMI (Barb, before you ask, that stands for “Get Off My Internet”). Chooch walks around the house with it around his shoulders. He’s such a diva.

  • I made the bed the other day and it was such a big Suzy Homemaker accomplishment for me that I took a picture because I knew it wouldn’t last long since we live like college kids. And then I started to laugh because NOTHING IN OUR HOUSE MATCHES. I like it that way, but I can only imagine the anxiety it would cause for other people. Our pillow cases not only don’t match the comforters, but they don’t match each other either, lol. Can you guess which one is Henry’s? NOT THE BANANAS. Henry lays his precious head down on pretty hearts and skulls.

  • Chooch and I have been desperately trying to get Henry to power-up to a cooler wardrobe…OK but not even so much “cool” as “less lame and logo-oriented.” Almost all of his shirts are from work so he’s a walking beverage advert. We wanted him to at least just get better-fitting jeans and some normal shirts to take to Korea but he’s like, “I WILL WEAR WHAT I WANT” so basically he’s going to be an American ahjussi, which is fine. You do you, Hank. But then I started cracking up imagining him starting a new “middle-age beverage warehouse manager” fashion trend in Korea. All the young kids out there wearing dad jeans, dirty white New Balances, and Faygo t-shirts. Oh, what a sight!

There was a bird out there mocking them.

  • I think Penelope’s lip got cut in one of her battles with Drew. They don’t like, HATE EACH OTHER, but they definitely don’t go out of their way to hang out together, either. And I think Drew gets mad because in her head, she’s the alpha but Penelope never backs down and if she’s even a little bit afraid of Drew, she certainly doesn’t show it!

  • We went to the nearly-closed down mall last week so I could get new shoes (it was a fail – I bought a pair of furry Pumas from their juniors line and didn’t realize until I had already trekked through most of downtown in the them on Monday that they’re TOO BIG, a pair of fucking KIDS SHOES. I was flopping around like a clown out there!). Anyway, I took this picture of the main entrance area of the mall because it’s so goddamn sad and you would honestly think it’s abandoned just from this view. They have a small Easter area set up and I was like, “CHOOCH LET’S GET YOUR PICTURE TAK—–OMG IS THE EASTER BUNNY SLEEPING IN THE CHAIR?!” but Chooch snapped, “That’s a STUFFED ANIMAL.” Sorry, my eyes are not great! Also, anything’s possible at Century III Mall and a passed-out Easter bunny seems pretty apropos.

  • My favorite thing to do with Drew is play hide and seek. She gets so concerned when she suddenly can’t find! Usually, I’m just holding a pillow in front of my face or crouching down behind a dining room chair. She’ll start meowing loudly until she finds me, and then we’ll just stare at each and she cries louder. It’s so weird and fun. For someone who is so worried that I vanished, she never fucking cuddles with me!!

  • Lori sent me a link from Time Magazine about how G-Dragon is getting so many emails sent to him at his military base that it shut down the servers. I forwarded it along to some of my other co-workers because I like it when I get the chance to show them that G-Dragon is so famous that THERE ARE SOME AMERICAN OUTLETS that recognize his fame. Amber replied, “How many emails did you send him, Erin!??!” A valid question! But even though I had the info, I swear to god I didn’t send any! I really wanted to, though.
    • We talk a good bit about the mandatory military enlistments at work, and I showed some of my co-workers the above (and adorable) photo of GD with his new military peeps, and that’s when we realized that I too was dressed like I was enlisting in the military which had me cracking up because it was 100% unintentional! I don’t take many full-body mirror pics, but this was an exception!

On that note, let’s end with a BIGBANG. Since 4/5 of them are now enlisted in the military, I’ve been taking comfort in all of the live performances they have on YouTube. What did we do before YouTube, you guys!? Between that and Roku, I barely ever turn on the regular TV. (Although I did fall asleep to CNN Tuesday night thanks to that fucking Special Election in Western PA that I couldn’t vote in because it wasn’t my dumb district, whatever that means.) Right, so…here’s a video of one of their live performances from 2015. A quick explanation: it starts out with “Crayon,” a G-Dragon solo song, but instead of GD, the other members of BIGBANG come out one by one and sing it before G-Dragon finally appears for the beginning of “Fantastic Baby.” This entire performance makes me so happy! You should watch it.

I know, it seems crazy that I went from listening to screamo and post-hardcore almost exclusively, but the charisma of BIGBANG is really hard to ignore. Even with all of those other bands that I have loved for years, I never really knew any of the members, but with BIGBANG (and a lot of kpop groups), there are five very distinct personalities there and the more you learn about each one, the harder it is to have a favorite (although it will always be G-Dragon for me!). Their performances are nutso and even though they might be going silent for the next two years, they will still be the fucking kings of kpop. Legends.

Mar 142018

When of the reviews I got in my non compos cards shop was that they loved my cards a lot but wish there was more variety/types of cards. I get it, and I got you. I have several future plans in my head (especially for more Valentines, which are my favorites to make) but to start, I’m focusing on notecard sets. I’ve already posted the serial killer set (I’m working on set #2!), and a BTS set (next up is a Kpop assortment!), and last weekend I finished this divine Golden Girls set!

It features 8 cards, 2 for each G-Girl, featuring trademark sayings or funny one-liners from the series.

I wanted the backgrounds to be as Miami as possible, and I think these give off a good Golden Girls’ lanai vibe. Yay or nay?

That Sophia one up there says “May you put your dentures in upside down & chew your head off” and I can’t wait for the day I can say that to Henry!

I’d use glittery cardstock for all of our cards but Henry is like, “Not on my watch.”


These are great all-occasion cards! Perfect for when you want to tell your sister that she’s being a slut puppy or when you want to cheer up a co-worker through interoffice mail.

This one is my favorite.

Also the background reminds me of my grandparents’ bedroom. Hey speaking of my grandparents! Here’s a picture I found from probably 1987. I can look at this picture and tell you that for sure it was either a Friday or Saturday night because my sleepover routine was to take a shower, put on probably one of my aunt’s old classy beer t-shirts, then my aunt Sharon would wrap my hair in a towel and my grandma would scratch my back while we watched either Hunter if it was Friday or Golden Girls & Empty Nest if it was Saturday.

(Was MacGyver on Saturdays, too?)

Shit, I would give anything to go back to 1987 and sleep over my grandparents’ house one more time.

But yeah, all of this is just to say that like so many of you out there, I freaking cherish the Golden Girls. Making these cards was pretty therapeutic!


Mar 132018

BIGBANG gifted us with 3:50 of pure beauty today and I am once again for leaving for work with freshly-watered eyeballs.

With G-Dragon joining T.O.P. in the military last month, Taeyang enlisting yesterday, Daesung enlisting today, and Seungri joining them all soon, this song is bitter-fucking-sweet. I want to thank them for bringing so much happiness to my life when I needed it most.

They all sound so sweet in this song. Forever kings.

Here’s the lyric video too for anyone interested in that! The lyrics are so beautiful.

Mar 122018

I don’t feel like writing an intro to this post about work but I guess I just did. LIFE IS FUNNY THAT WAY.

The Fig Bars

The department boss is way too good to us and keeps a table stocked full of delicious treats. She clearly knows that at the heart of it all, we are truly little children who can be comforted by snacks. It works, it really does. Usually she provides crackers, peanuts, little snack packs of cookies such as Oreos and Nutter Butters, granola bars…but lately, there have been these freaking delicious Fig Bars up in there too. They’re like hipster Fig Newtons, when I really think about it, but so damn good. I’m always complaining about how there need to be more in each package (THERE ARE ONLY TWO?!).

One day last week, Todd walked past my desk on his way back from shopping at the snack table. “These fig things are so good,” he said, which reminded me of their existence, so I felt that I needed to also get up and get one.

Imagine my horror when I rounded the corner to Snack World and the Fig Bar bowl was EMPTY. I didn’t want peanut butter crackers or a Twizzler! I wanted a FIG BAR and TODD took the LAST ONE!

Oh, there was hell to pay when I returned to my desk. I felt like he stabbed me in the back, like he was purposely planting that seed of WANT into my head, when I wasn’t even hungry now that I think about it!

The next day, Glenn was coming inside from lunch and mumbled that there were more Fig Bars out there, so Todd and I literally raced each other down the hall. I won, but the bowl was fully stocked so I don’t really know why we were racing.

Those things are just so delightful! Way better than Fig Newtons. The outer part is all grainy and nutricious-seeming.

I made sure to thank Sue on my way back to my desk because I want her to know that she should never stop providing them. Um, I think we all get more work done too whenever we eat them.

A few days later, I cut off Jeannie when we were both reaching for a Fig Bar at the same time, because I’m ruthless.

Hearing Loss

At our Monday meeting last week, Amber was telling us that our guest speaker wasn’t there that day because she had an ear infection.

“What?” Glenn asked.

After repeating herself, Amber jokingly asked, “Do you have an ear infection too?”

“No, but I honestly can’t hear out of my one ear,” Glenn explained, at which point I started bouncing in my chair, desperate to interrupt.

“IS IT BECAUSE YOU SAT TOO CLOSE TO THE STAGE AT WOODSTOCK!?” I squealed, dying with laughter.

“Oh my god,” Todd sighed, and then Amber had to explain to our co-worker, who was just put on speakerphone in the middle of my outburst, why I was choking to death on laughter. I don’t know why I thought this was so funny but I was doing everything short of patting myself on the back over it.

Later that night, I was trying to recreate the scene for Henry and I started crying because I was laughing so hard.

“It’s not even that funny, but still…” I wheezed.

“You’re right. It’s not that funny,” Henry agreed in that disapproving tone he reserves just for me and Chooch.

Confusing Calendar

A lot of people here hate my Korea countdown calendar because the numbers aren’t displayed in normal calendar fashion. My kpop friend on Instagram was like, “Who’s even looking at the number?!” and I was like, “GIRL YOU KNOW.” That’s not why we buy these things.

Amber asked me if I got the calendar inside Teen Beat and I said, “I wish, it would have been way cheaper that way!” God. Korea goes hard with their yearly planners, you guys. This SHINee one was like $50 or something, I can’t remember now, I always black out after buying something because I hate spending money.

Nate and Sandy were trying to make sense of it the other day but couldn’t. “This calendar is chaos,” Sandy spat, while Nate was half-way to a headstand trying to figure out how much longer until I leave.

It just makes me love it that much more!


I realized suddenly after Cheryl sneezed last week that Glenn never says “bless you” after anyone sneezes. I waited until he walked away from his desk before lasso’ing Lauren into the theory quickly developing in my murky mind.

“Lauren,” I whispered hoarsely. “Have you ever noticed that Glenn never says ‘bless you’?”

She considered this for an entire second and then shook her head no. I know she felt bad about it too because she hates saying no to me.

“Well, he doesn’t….do you think he’s a Satanist?” I blurted.

“What? No!” she nervously laughed.

“I’m going to ask him.” And then when Glenn walked past me on his way back to his desk, I casually asked, “Glenn you never say bless you after someone sneezes is it because you’re a Satanist?”

“I can’t believe you just asked him that,” Lauren said, turning around so she wouldn’t have to be involved.

“Wow, that’s really what you came up with because of that?” Glenn asked. “You’re the one with the pentagram rug in your house! Are you recruiting?”


This was better than the time everyone was supposed to wear a certain color to support women and Glenn missed the memo so I tried to spread the rumor that he hated women, but not as good as the time Barb tried to start a rumor for no reason that Glenn is a lesbian.

Speaking of Cheryl sneezing though, she was also choking one day last too and I stood up and shouted, “CHERYL ARE YOU OK” in the most fake-sincere tone I could muster. Cheryl played along and exaggeratedly thanked me for being so concerned about the status of her windpipe.

“Sickening,” Todd mumbled, while Glenn was suspiciously mute.

Finally, Glenn calmly said, “There’s so many things to say that I just froze up.”


I was having a pretty lowkey Friday morning when suddenly, I was nearly to work and realized that I didn’t have my work badge. So, already that’s a sucky feeling because it means you have to go to the security desk, hope they believe you when you say that you really are an employee and not just a recently-canned disgruntled employee back for revenge. But then you’re like, trapped within your department all day too, while trying to remember when you last saw it and if you should email Facilities now or later to report it lost and then be forced to pay for a new one, UGH.

But there was still hope that it was on my desk. I’ve done that many times, left my dumb badge-thing on my desk. But it wasn’t there!

So I went to the kitchen because I was on late shift the night before and I could vividly remember setting it on the table while I was washing my BIGBANG cup. BUT IT WAS NOT THERE.

Now panic was definitely setting in and here’s why: EVERYTHING IS IN THAT BADGE HOLDER. So much of my life is in there that I refer to it as my wallet but it’s not even meant to be a wallet, it’s a Pusheen ID holder and I shove all of my credit cards, my drivers license, my trolley ConnectCard….all of the shit I need everyday, in other words. And this was literally ONE DAY after I swore that I had to go back to using a real wallet after struggling to get my license out of it.

Well, good job Erin because now you’re going to have to get brand new cards to put in the wallet, I sadly thought to myself.

Todd works early on Friday so he was lucky to be there to watch my panic go from 0 to 60. And then Glenn arrived right when I was on a cleaning person-blaming tangent.

I couldn’t focus on anything. My ears were ringing and my face was flushed. Amber walked by and I blurted out that I lost my wallet.

“Oh, I’m sorry, that sucks!” she said.

“It’s OK,” I sighed, and then before she made it around the corner, I turned and shouted, “IT’S NOT OK!”


Cheryl told me to call Reception and see if anyone had turned it in. I was like “FUCK A PHONE CALL” and emailed instead, which got really fun when I reached the point of my email where I had to describe my wallet.

“It’s purple, soft, and shaped like a cat.”

It took AN HOUR for reception to email me back and say, “NO SORRY NOT YET.”

James the mailroom guy came around for the first mail delivery of the day. Before he even had a chance to say hello, I cut him off. “WHAT, DO YOU HAVE MY WALLET?”

“…..no?” he answered nervously. So then I had to fill him in and Glenn and Todd were behind me, making the same eyes at James that elderly patients probably made at Jack Kevorkian.

“Did you check your desk?” he asked, and I was like “Yes duh” even though I only checked one drawer, twice. I just knew it wasn’t in my desk, OK?

OMG why was this happening two weeks before we leave for Korea? Another thing to stress about!

Lori came over to chat about nothing in particular. I let her finish while nervously squirming in my seat, and then I shouted, “I LOST MY WALLET.”

I heard Glenn sigh behind me, but I still launched back into the same story, verbatim.

“And I thought maybe I left it on the table in the kitchen…”

Then I had a thought!

Henry drove me to work that morning. When we were walking out of the house, I noticed that Chooch left his backpack! Luckily his school is right up the street so I told Henry I’d just jump out and run it in. Except that Henry wouldn’t come to a complete stop and I practically had to drop and roll out of the car, and in doing so, I forgot that my purse was on my lap and it fell into the middle of the street! MAYBE MY WALLET FELL OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF PIONEER?!


I started thinking about all of the times I found and returned things lost by others: someone’s debit card at an ATM, a wallet on the sidewalk which was luckily right outside the person’s house so I didn’t have to go far, Ross’s Blackberry (technically that was Henry, so me by extension), Jeannie’s work ID!! Maybe I had collected enough Karma for someone else to return my wallet to me!?

Later that morning, Henry had enough of my crazy lady texts, so he drove home on his break and TEXTED ME A PICTURE OF MY WALLET! It was at home that whole time! I had to immediately send an email to everyone in our department who suffered through my sob story and Glenn mumbled, “When’s the movie coming out?”

Then James came down later and I yelled over to him that I found it and he said he had said a prayer for it! MY WALLET IS SO LOVED. Wendy was walking by during this exchange and looked confused, and I realized that she didn’t know about my lost-not-lost wallet so now I had a reason to tell the story again! Todd and Glenn put their earbuds in.

Lauren was working late shift from home that day so she missed this whole thing. Luckily for her, she ended up having to come into the office that afternoon so I got to fill her in. She was like, “Wow. I’m sorry I missed that.”


Mar 102018

Oh hey guys, B-line Story Time!

Early Thursday morning, right before 6am if my blurry eyes were looking at the time properly, I woke up to what sounded like an explosion, a loud bang, followed by tons of masculine shouting. I had slept on the couch that night because sometimes I like to fall asleep to Korean stuff playing on YouTube (leave me alone), so when I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was that my living room was flooded with flashing red and blue lights. I jumped off the couch and ran to the window.

There were cops and SWAT vehicles ALL UP AND DOWN MY STREET.

My heart was racing and I felt dizzy with anxiety. My first thought was HOW DID THEY FIND ME.

I mean: I DIDN’T DO IT.


But after the first few seconds of shock wore off, I realized that they weren’t coming for me after all. Even though it sounded like they had my house surrounded and were actually INSIDE my house.

Oh wait…they kind of were.




I heard an undecipherable shouting, someone yelling about drugs.

Of course. It’s always motherfucking drugs.

Chooch had woken up too and that boy wakes at NOTHING so you know shit was apocalyptic up here on P-Ave. I went flying upstairs and joined him in my bedroom, where we sat at the foot of my bed, peeking out the blinds. I called Henry at work and he said that Hot Naybor Chris had already called him because he too heard an explosion. Now that I think about it, I think all I heard was the banging of the front door being knocked in, but Chooch said he for sure heard an explosion followed by a bright flash of light outside his window and that the explosion sounded like it came from upstairs. So we think the cops might have used a flash bomb upstairs before entering the neighbor’s bedroom.

You guys. My mind was spinning. With Boots, that fucking piece of white trash who lived there last year, something like this would be expected. In fact something similar did happen to him but I was at work for that one. And that was because he robbed and assaulted a man. (Janna looked him up last night out of curiosity and I’m happy to report that that d-bag is currently in jail.)

But this current guy…he seemed so NORMAL. I know, I know, that’s how it always works. The neighbor of BTK goes on record saying, “But Dennis was so normal!” Ted Bundy’s grandma talking about how he helped her carry her groceries like a NORMAL guy. We’ve all heard that before. But when this guy moved in last spring, after the landlord literally had to gut and rebuild the interior of that unit after Boots destroyed it with his drug-induced stupors, Chooch and I went out to introduce ourselves and it became a thing that we could exclude Henry from, you know? Like, we knew the neighbor better than Henry because we met him first. It was kind of like a Parker’s sitch. I don’t want to say his name, so we’ll make one up: Ned.

I was so happy to have Ned next door after the horrors of Boots! There was a woman who lived there too, she was occasionally annoying (she talked SUPER LOUD and fought with Ned a lot) but overall, they were pretty normal people, didn’t come and go at all hours of the night, DIDN’T SLAM THE DOOR THANK THE FUCKING LORD. Just pretty regular neighbors. In fact, the only thing they gave us to obsess about was trying to figure out their relationship. We never saw them leave together in the same car, or even at the same time, and they seemed to just not like each other. I think we settled on the belief that they were siblings or cousins, maybe. She told me her name once when we were both leaving for work at the same time, but a truck drove past just as she said it so I just pretended like I heard because I didn’t feel like extending the conversation by asking her to repeat it.

One time we talked about the weather and she was like, “GIRL I WILL TAKE THIS RAIN OVER THAT COLD SHIT WE’VE BEEN HAVING” and I was like, “Ok.”

She was fairly unassuming too. Always dressed in workout clothes. Not like slummy, grimy sweatshirts or whatever, but really nice workout clothes. And she was in great shape too. So in my head, she was an aerobics instructor.

COINCIDENTALLY, she was not there while all of this was going on Thursday morning. DID SHE KNOW? WAS SHE THE MOLE? WERE THEY AFTER HER TOO?

I kept thinking it had to be her. I wanted it to be her because I really liked Ned and didn’t want to believe that he did something bad.

But after an hour of listening to the drug task team tear the house apart, an hour of crashing and banging and shattering and clattering, police radios squawking, the police dog barking, the SWAT team eventually pulled out. So I was like, “MAYBE IT WAS A MISTAKE! MAYBE THEY DIDN’T FIND ANYTHING!”

But then….I looked out the window again and saw him.


Standing on the sidewalk, surrounded by police clad in hoodies and vests.


“They have Ned cuffed!” I hoarsely whispered to Chooch, and then we started to cry a little.

Like, it actually hurt to see him out there with his head hanging.

This is the third neighbor in a row over there who has been arrested in dramatic fashion (the lady who lived there before Boots was arrested by the US Marshall; we think she part of some car theft ring), but for some reason, this is the one that hurts, man. I felt some type of affinity toward Ned. I wanted him to kick out that broad and be able to have a quiet existence without her yelling at him. I was so Team Ned.

“You didn’t even know him!” Henry yelled at me that night when I started crying about it with my hands over my heart and saying, “I FEEL SO BAD FOR NED. I HOPE HE DIDN’T DO IT. MAYBE HE WAS FRAMED!!!!!”

And, in the middle of the K-drama we were watching, “DO YOU THINK NED IS OK!?”

I keep having these sad montages of my interactions with Ned whirring through my mind. Like when we were both coming home at the same time and he was telling me that he was going to South Carolina because his daughter was graduating early from college, and he was worried about the impending snow storm. And I was like, “Be careful out there!”

Or the time we were both checking our mail boxes at the same time on Halloween and he was like, “I guess I better run out and get candy, the kids’ll be coming” and I laughed, “And mine will be one of them!”

“Remember when we were walking to CVS the other night and Ned was driving down the street and we waved at each other?” I sadly asked Henry yesterday and he was like, “Please stop.”

No one has been over there since this happened Thursday morning, except for the landlord (HNC called him immediately, he’s such a Town Gossip!), and the landlord said that the cops completely trashed the place. Once again, he’s got an empty unit that needs a ton of work before he can rent it again.


Anyway, I snuck over there last night to check for mail in the mail box because I don’t know Ned’s last name and we wanted to see if we could figure out what was going on. His name wasn’t on anything, but hers was. We looked her up and if this is the same woman, which I think probably is because her name is pretty unique, SHE RECENTLY GOT OUT OF JAIL, DRUG-RELATED OF COURSE. Ugh. But this made me have hope, that maybe it was her they were after, maybe Ned was framed, maybe he took the fall for her.

But then Henry got some intel from his cop contact who said that a normal drug sweep usually only entails a handful of cops, not SWAT. Guys I’m telling you, our street was lit up like a popo Christmas tree. There had to have been at least 20 cops out there. His source also said that coke was found, and gave him the name of the man arrested.


There’s a man who is often over there, we thought he was even living there for awhile, so first I thought that maybe he was there when this happened, and he got arrested too.

But I only saw Ned in cuffs. And that other guy’s car wasn’t here.

So then I sadly let myself think the inevitable: DID NED GIVE US A FAKE NAME.

We looked up the name the source gave us and if it’s Ned, then we have essentially been living next door to a leader of a fucking heroin ring. There was a well-known incident here in Pittsburgh from the early 2000s that this guy was involved in, where a popular and infamous nightclub was used as a front. The DEA was involved and this guy, if it’s actually Ned or not I don’t know, served about 10 years in prison but then was let out when some law was passed to reduce sentences for non-violent drug crimes. The dates match up. The age of the guy named in the articles we read match the age of the guy arrested next to us.

OMFG WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING NEXT DOOR TO US. Literally every other house on our block is just…regular. Older people. Families. Just a regular city street! The common denominator is….(no, not me, which is what Glenn suggested)…THE LANDLORD. Maybe he’s the top dog!?

We’re trying to get more information. Today, one of Ned’s friends, this guy with a ginger beard who just looks like he’s probably a jerk, stopped over just as we were getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, so we sat in the car and watched him go in the house for less than 30 seconds AND THEN LEAVE. WHAT WAS HE DOING I’M SO SCARED.

I don’t really understand why I’m having such Emotion over this whole ordeal but it really fucking sucked to see that guy getting arrested. I felt so disappointed, yet worried. OK, so maybe we only ever had like three encounters with each other, but I was so happy to have a neighbor who wasn’t, I don’t know, potentially raping strung-out ladies next door; covering holes in his windows with cereal boxes; stomping up and down the steps at all hours of the night in his cement-block boots; and stealing from the veritable grab-bag of squatters he was letting live there.

Ned seemed like a decent guy. I feel so fucking duped.

So hoodwinked.

So fooled.

I  think I actually have some slight PTSD from this. It was so scary, like they were in our house. It was a really scary way to wake up, let me tell you.

“So, those people were like major drug lords but they only paid me $3 to shovel their sidewalk? Wow,” Chooch muttered, suddenly not sorry for Ned anymore.

If you’re keeping score, this makes 3 out 3 recent neighbors who have moved out because now they live in a prison.  That side of the house is cursed.

Here’s some free advice for the landlord: do better background checks maybe? Like, is this even happening at all? And perhaps find a nice elderly couple to rent to. Half-deaf so my constant Kpop won’t cause complaints, she knits, he does crossword puzzles.

Mar 092018

Usually, Henry goes to “the store” alone. I put “the store” in “quotes” because the inside joke is that he’s really “having an affair.” But the reality is that “going to the store” is literally Henry’s get-away. I imagine he just roams around the aisles in a daze, all zoned out to the adult contemporary tunes wafting from the rafters, a lone tear softly rolling down his weathered cheek.

I’m fine with this because I typically hate shopping of any kind, especially the grocery kind. But there was nothing else to do last weekend (Chooch was sick AGAIN! This sick-season has been terrible), so I gladly tagged along for the food-shopping adventures.

First! Saturday morning, we walked to Pitaland for, well, pita. Chooch wanted pita and hummus and when you live within walking distance from a legit Mediterranean market, you don’t very well go to Shop n Save for a tub of greasy Sabra.

You feel me?

I used to be terrified of Pitaland for years when I first moved to Brookline. I’m sure it made sense to me at the time because I’m such a rational flower blossom, but now I’m just like, ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I WASTED ALL THAT TIME AVOIDING PITALAND.” Honestly, I would shield my face anytime I walked past it! Whaaaat was I thinking.

Now I like to go with Henry and sample the olive bar (it’s encouraged) and check to see if they have any weird fruit. (Sometimes that have persimmon but nothing much more crazy than that.) Henry has become friendly with one of the guys who works there, who is also a professor, so he thinks he’s really cool because the guy will always come out and shake Henry’s hand, and then Henry will quickly look around to make sure people were watching that. It’s so lame.

So yeah, we went to Pitaland and got pitabread, hummus, and two different kinds of olives because why the hell not. We’re adults!

Later that night, Henry had to go to “the real store.” I went with him because sometimes it’s fun to follow him around like a lemming and ask him questions about cleaning products and coupons. We went to Kuhn’s, which is a grocery store pretty close to us and the one Henry frequents the most if he just needs basic things, because it’s a pretty no-frill establishment. It’s actually surprising that they even sell Halo Top there, to be honest.

I had to laugh because now all of Henry’s cashier and bagger friends there know that he’s not a single dad. Henry, exposed!

I loudly scoffed at the produce section and asked, “ARE WE GOING TO THE ASIAN MARKET TOMORROW? I can’t eat this crap.”

P.S. the Asian market is the only one I enjoy going to.

I was really excited when we entered the bakery area but then some jackass walked past me and attempted to assassinate me with his disgusting drug store cologne. Thanks, guy. No bakery smells for me!

There’s an Indian market in the same shopping center as Kuhn’s, so I dragged Henry into it after he put the groceries in the car. I’m always on the look-out for new exotic candies to thrust upon my co-workers, but they had all of the same stuff I got at the last Indian market which is still sitting untouched in the Pumpkin of Confectionary Horrors. (It’s not that the pan pasand candy is BAD per se…it just tastes like you’re sucking on someone’s grandma’s recently-perfumed neck, that’s all.)

So instead, we bought some cookies that were just OK.

Sunday was more marketing! We went to two Asian markets in the Strip: Sam Bok because they have a wonderful fridge full of homemade banchan and I had been straight craving kkaennip. There were two women in the next aisle over talking and I understood like three words of their conversation…baby steps, lol.

Then we had to fight our way through the Sunday Daydrinkers to our favorite Asian market: WFH Oriental. In my head, I call it Work From Home because that’s the acronym we use on roll call at work when we’re working from home.


We got more jujubes! Honestly, if you have an Asian market in your town, go check out the produce! And don’t be afraid to ask someone if you don’t know what you’re looking at. We’ve added so many delicious staples to our meals that way, like baby taro. We eat so much baby taro, like savages, motherfucker.

Speaking of taro, I wanted bubble tea so we want to Pink Box in Squirrel Hill (not a market per se, but I’m including it) because they have delightful Asian baked goods so we stuffed our faces with milk bread and whatever.

Mmm, red bean.

All those different markets we went to, yet Henry had toast and Hot Fries for breakfast on Sunday. I mean, friendly reminder that when you’re a grown-up, you can eat whatever you want for breakfast. Jeffrey Dahmer even ate people — dare to dream!

Well, that concludes my totally boring story about how I tagged along when Henry performed his housewife duties at the market.

Mar 072018

One of my favorite pastimes is following the cats around the house and taking pictures of them. More so Drew than Penelope because (no offense, Penelope) Drew actually does stuff while Penelope is mostly being a loaf somewhere out of sight.


*(When I was in elementary school, I used to watch this block of TV on PBS called Britcom Blitz and one of the shows was Man About the House, featuring Yootha Joyce, and that kick-started this weird Yootha Joyce obsession that I carried into middle school and even used her name as a pen name for a poetry project in 7th grade Communications class and literally no one knew who Yootha Joyce was because why would they.)

**(Anyway, that’s where the title of this blog post comes from.)

In this edition (I honestly typed out “addition” at first. I am not getting enough sleep, sigh #2), Drew gives a Pioneer Ave. Gallery tour.

Here, we find Drew perched in front of a gallery wall of her favorite person in the whole world, Chooch. Literally, this whole chunk of the house is one huge shrine to that kid. I guess we love him, who knew.

Here, we find Drew somewhere she shouldn’t be—the fucking mantel, which features an original piece of Chooch pottery, a Somnambulant painting of my Pappap, and some Mexican folkart that I bought at a vintage shop in Cleveland.

Also: a dead plant, SHINee and Jonghyun albums (also art), and a rock from outside of my first apartment.

Here, we find Drew busted as she’s about to dive off the mantel and onto a chair. Her ass is rudely obstructing a Somnambulant painting of G-Dragon (<3), an old camera from my Pappap’s house, and an old hand mirror that I found in the bathroom closet when I moved into this house in 1999. YES, I CONSIDER THIS TO BE A PIECE OF MY PERSONAL ART COLLECTION OK. It’s a motherfucking relic.

Here, we find Drew losing herself in the lyrics to The Cure’s “Same Deep Water As You,” also featuring this gorgeous drawing of Robert Smith that I bought on eBay in 1999 and have cherished ever since.

Here, we find Drew chilling on top of a curio cabinet, next to the RIP CAT MEMORIAL WALL. Also, dangling ice cream cones = art.

Good night from this crazy 고양이!

Stay turned for my next blog post which is about, OMG get ready, going grocery shopping with Henry over the weekend. God, can you even stand the suspense.

Mar 062018

Whenever I wanna feel like 1996 Erin, sitting on my purple bedspread in my purple-carpeted room with my purple-foiled wallpaper and light sculptures, applying my too-dark lipstick while barely being able to see past my too-long bangs, checkin’ my pager that I had for no other reason than I was a rich suburban kid, I put on some Dean because something about his music and his voice particularly takes me all the way the fuck back to those days when I was 16 and nothing else mattered but listening to WAMO and writing in my journal and I didn’t have bills or real life drama other than the niggling fear that I might have worn the same Karl Kani hoodie twice that month OH LAWD NO.

All of this is to say I’m stressed the fuck out but I’ve been falling asleep to a Dean/K-Grooves playlist lately and it’s got me waking up feeling alright. Deep breaths, everyone. Exhale. Eat a fucking candy bar. Treat yourself. We got this.

Mar 052018

There was this short-lived sitcom on about ten years ago called Kath & Kim with Molly Shannon and Selma Blair; I think it was actually an American remake of an Australian show. Do you remember it PROBABLY NOT. Anyway, Selma Blair’s character would always say “rooned” instead of “ruined” and I still say that but because that show was such a flop, no one but Henry ever gets it.

I’m telling you this now so you’ll understand what I mean when I say that Henry ROONED my lunchtime walk last Monday by making me go with him to pick up our car from the shop and you better believe I acted like it was the end of the world. UGH, A WRENCH IN MY ROUTINE.

Never fear, I went on a walk the other four days of the work week and while nothing amazingly wild happened, I at least snapped some shots of Shittsburgh I mean Picsburgh no wait it’s Pittsburgh.

(Jk guys, I like my city a little bit.)

Most days, I’m on auto-pilot and head straight for the Strip District. This will change soon when the weather gets warmer because people always flock to this area, even on week days. Henry and I were just there on Sunday because there are several Asian markets in that area, and even though it was still chilly out, there were droves of slow-moving Sunday shoppers milling about, probably straight from some dumb brunch, gawking at Steelers shirts, street produce and whateverthefuck. I got really angry at one point and started mouthing off like I actually live there and haven’t just co-opted the area because of my lunch break walks. Henry was like, “Calm down” and I was like, “YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELF, TOO, PITTSBURGH TOURIST!”

Anyway, speaking of street produce. I like to walk through this market thing to get a daily dose of classic rock. One day, I think I mentioned this in a recent Lunch Break Tales, “Sara Smile” was playing and I pretended to be thoroughly invested in feeling up a basket of kiwi just so I could hear the whole song.

I didn’t feel like crossing the street to get a better picture of this mural, so I didn’t. MY BLOG MY RULES.

I always walk past Sunseri and think nothing of it and my caption was going to be “A store” but now that I’m looking at this, I wonder if THEY HAVE EXOTIC CANDY. I should check.

There actually is a candy store in the Strip but it’s just like novelty bullshit to appeal to Andy Griffith set. It’s OK, but not International Pumpkin of Candy worthy.

I just thought this looked cool, OK?

One day last week, I was waiting to cross the street with an older vagabond-type of broad who gave me a quick glimpse into my future: she was hollering at every car that flew past us, finding some awful offense with each one. “YEAH YOU RAN THAT RED LIGHT, ASSHOLE, I SAW!” And then when the light turned green and we stepped off the curb, she angrily wagged her finger at the bus turning our direction and barked, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, HAMILTON” — because it was the Hamilton bus, GET IT?

(I have no idea what part of town Hamilton is but that’s where the bus was going I guess.)

(I don’t ride buses.)

There was one day last week where the sky was so goddamn blue and perfect that, even though it was still chilly, I felt infinitely happy to be alive. THE MAGIC OF THAT VITAMIN D, YO. I decided to walk a different direction for a change, so I made a right outside of my building, walked past a church, and then just kept going up and up and up toward Consol, or PPG Paints Arena, whatever we’re calling it now.

I walked past this church and then made a left and kept going until it started to look sketchy, and then I made a RIGHT….

…where I stopped to take a picture of this mural and then I kept going up a hill until eventually I was engulfed by the Duquesne University to the point where I feared I wouldn’t find a way out, and then I realized my FUCKING FITBIT WAS DEAD, fml.

Oh yeah, I just realized this must have been Friday because it was really windy and I was afraid that a stop sign would get uprooted and bisect my head.

These are some of the things about while meandering about on my lunch breaks: things that could fall from the sky and kill me (anvils, dead pigeon, uprooted stop sign), new serial killer card ideas, my ideal Korean boyfriend type, some random Days of Our Lives character. My mind is so fucking rife with thoughts.

Well guys (or “guts” as I originally typed), that’s all for this latest edition of Lunch Break Tales but the next one might be another coffee roundup, depending on how energetic I feel this week since it seems like everyone around me is ill and it’s only a matter of time until it’s my goddamn turn.

Mar 032018

I’m not gonna say “people keep asking me” because that implies that I actually talk to people, but the question of why I don’t really go to shows anymore has come up in conversation twice over the last several weeks, and I guess I just didn’t realize how much of my blog was dedicated to show recaps for awhile there! Thinking back, the last show I went to was in October which seems like forever ago. I still check my favorite venues regularly but there just really isn’t anything I want to see (except for those Balance & Composure farewell shows in Philly but Henry was like DO YOU WANT TO HAVE MONEY WHEN WE’RE IN KOREA OR DO YOU WANT TO KEEP TRYING TO DO ALL THESE DUMB ROAD TRIPS? and I was like, “Touché, motherfucker.”).

So here’s a – hopefully – quick explanation on why my show attendance has really waned over the last 6 months.

  • The aforementioned “money” thing. I have been dead-set on saving money for Korea. Contrary to some people’s belief, Henry and I are not made of money. I might work at a law firm but I am definitely not bringing home a lawyers salary! And even though the shows I was going to were pretty cheap, not big venue concerts, that still adds up. Plus: merch. I had to slow my roll on the vinyl-buying front or else I’d never be leaving Pittsburgh.
  • I was tired of spending so much time alone. It was still worth it to go alone if it was one of my favorite bands but oftentimes I was going to shows even if I only had a moderate interest in it, and the anxiety I had to work through to get there was wearing me down. It was a catch-22 because then of course the music would energize me. But still, it was getting to be too much on my nerves!
  • My exercise addiction made me start saying no to more and more shows because I didn’t want to be standing around all night. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to?
  • I’m just not connecting with that type of music anymore. I still like it! But I’m not connecting on an emotional level like I was before where it felt like it was repairing me. I have changed a lot over the last year. So, ITS NOT YOU ITS ME! I still love that scene but…more so as something that used to be a big part of me. I will always love it for the memories. I think it’s good to change things up, and looking back, I have loved so many different types of music and I really like that about myself. Staying stagnant is boring! Ya gotta open your heart and mind to new things every now and then.
  • Liking music from another country means I can’t just pop on over to Mr. Small’s or Smiling Moose to catch some Korean indie act. I have to save my monies and pray that the groups I like will do a world tour and then fight to get tickets before it sells out. And then also plan to travel to Chicago or Toronto because Pittsburgh is like unknown to Korean music agencies. So yeah, my calendar isn’t exactly full of upcoming kpop shows!

But the biggest reason, if we’re being truthful, is that I just can’t keep supporting a scene that turns a blind eye to misogyny and abuse. More and more bands that I once loved are being exposed for ignoring accusations against a grimy, slimy bandmate, whether it’s someone who baits and takes advantage of underage girls or someone who is known for domestic violence and rape.

Even Mike Fuentes from Pierce the Veil was exposed for gross past behavior and was asked to step away from his position as drummer.

I love Pierce the Veil and this was a hard one, man. But still – good riddance Mike Fuentes and much respect to the girls who were brave enough to step forward.

But then there’s Jonny Craig who has not one but three exes who have spent years presenting evidence of his abuse – one of his exes alleges that he held her down on a bed and tried to shoot her up. What a motherfucker – if I ever see this pig again I will happily spit in his face for all the pain and suffering he’s caused multiple bright and beautiful women. Jonny Craig, constantly dodging that bullet, continuously finding miracles to keep him in the industry.

(Actually, his exes banded together and started a petition to have him removed from Sony. Please go sign it!)

I cannot keep supporting a music industry that lets monsters like him walk away without consequences. The fan bases are largely comprised of ignorant, uneducated bros and girls who try SO HARD to be “one of the guys” that they’re single-handedly perpetuating the “victim blaming” culture.

So, it was becoming exhausting to keep track of the bands I could no longer support and I was also tired of being let down and disappointed by these guys that I once had some level of respect for. I’m not a huge social justice warrior or whatever they’re calling us liberals these days, but I also have a conscience and morals and just as easy to stop supporting these trash bags, you know?

It seems poetic that this year will be the last Warped Tour. Yeah sure, I’m sad but also relieved because that place is a breeding ground of bro-type behavior, savage misogyny, and date rape waiting to happen in the parking lot or on a tour bus.

The line-up was just announced the other day and I admit, it is completely underwhelming. Even Chooch was like, “Eh.” It’s really disappointing that once again, Falling In Reverse has been invited back in spite of Ronnie Radke’s numerous (numerous!!!) domestic offenses. I been, he’s even served time for some of those offenses, but that’s cool Kevin Lyman — roll out that red carpet for him.

So, Warped Tour taking a bow is most definitely for the best because I for one have felt like a fucking hypocrite for still attending these last several years. Part of me wants to just not go, but I worry that I will regret it. I’ve attended every Warped Tour unfailingly since 2007. I feel like I need to see this through for nostalgia’s sake. Oh, conflict!

The Bledfest lineup was also released and I admit that I salivated a bit. If it didn’t require us to travel for it, I would gladly go to that one again.

That being said, I’m not just like NEVER GOING TO CONCERTS ever again. Citizen and Basement are going on tour later this spring and I am 100% going to that. But, this just isn’t something that I can fit into my current lifestyle as regularly as I did before, and that’s OK. I have new things taking up my time now. It’s a new season of Oh Honestly, Erin, I guess!